There are many “pet holidays” and “special days” throughout the year; January is no exception. As noted last week, this is Walk Your Dog Month. January is also Train Your Dog Month.
Training our dogs even the basic commands, like sit, stay, come, and heel, is a great idea for several reasons. First and foremost, emphasizing these obedience words helps keep them safe. Daily, dogs in yards and visiting parks run into the street and are hit by cars. Having your dog respond to your voice command to “come” or “stay” helps prevent such tragedy should your beloved furry friend leave your side.
Training doesn’t have to be all about commands, however. Training can also include fun activities, such as agility, field work, and even games of fetch. Training can involve both voice commands and hand signals, and such activity is not only good for your dog’s physical health, but also its mental health as learning engages your dog’s brain.
Dogs aren’t the only animals that can be trained. Believe it or not, cats can also respond to words. “No” and “off” are good to use with cats as well as dogs; some felines are notorious for getting on tables and kitchen counters. I know a woman who uses clicker training with cats, rewarding them with treats for their good responses to her words.
Pet people want to bond with their beloved animals; training helps do that. For our pets, especially dogs, training is like playing games, and engaging your furry friend in games is fun for them. Therefore, they view it as time spent with you, which dogs especially enjoy since they are pack animals.
Take time this month to stimulate your pet mentally and physically with training. You’ll discover not only enjoyment in spending more time with your pet, but you’ll also reap the benefits of knowing your pet is safer by positively responding to commands as well as experience a stronger bond with your special friend.
Learn more about training dogs here:
Learn more about training cats here:
January is Walk Your Dog Month. I don’t know if there’s a special time set aside for Exercise Your Cat, but there should be. All pets need activity to be healthy. So do people. We can take time this month, in fact, each week, and preferably each day, for a bit of exercise with our pets. It’s good for them, and it’s good for us!
January is a time many people decide to pay more attention to their health. Exercise is one way to accomplish that. You can involve your pet in that resolution, and together, become healthier. There are many benefits to exercise for us and for our pets, including:
So, whether you talk a walk through the neighborhood, spend time at the dog park, play fetch in the backyard, or engage in a ribboned fishing pole activity with your cat, you and your pet will reap great benefits exercising together!
Read more on the benefits of activity for you and your pet at these websites:
Winter is officially here. Whether your area experiences chilly rain or freezing temperatures with blowing snow, this time of year brings safety concerns for our pets, including frostbite and poisoning. Below are five ways to keep your pet warmer and safer during these next several months:
Putting these five tips into action will help keep your four-footed companion warmer and safer during chilly winter months.
Gayle M. Irwin is a writer and public relations professional who volunteers with various animal rescue groups. She enjoys sharing her books and her passion for pets and the environment with others.